Who Owns the Digital Information About You?

Harold Furchtgott-Roth, writing for Forbes, covers Carpenter v. United States.

Legal analysts claim that Carpenter v. United States, argued earlier this week before the Supreme Court, is one of the most important Fourth Amendment cases in a decade. The Court has been asked to review whether the government could rely on cell phone location data obtained without a warrant to prosecute a person for armed robbery.

In addition to the question of unreasonable search and seizure, the case also has the potential to influence the structure of our Internet economy. Each time a person uses a cell phone or the Internet, vast amounts of digital information are created. Practically all that information is collected and stored by various businesses from wireless carriers to Internet search companies to any of countless other companies that track activities of Internet users. Who owns the digital information?

The Court might decide the case without addressing the intriguing question of the ownership of the digital information. This issue was addressed in an amicus brief before the Court authored by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, and the Committee for Justice.

Read the full article at Forbes.